Chapter 4

The Person and Her Times

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Geographical Environment
Political Environment
Social Environment
Religious Environment
Family Tree
Early Life Prior to 1845
New Picture of God
Endnotes
Study Questions


“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith” (Heb.13:7, RSV).

How can a person get to know the real Abraham Lincoln or Florence Nightingale or Booker T. Washington? In part, by reading their writings. But to get objectivity one should listen to what others say about them. One must turn to their contemporaries and note how they were affected or influenced by these exceptional people.

When Lincoln died, note the mourning of a nation. As his funeral train slowly wound itself west to his resting place in Springfield, Illinois, thousands of mourners lined the track, tears flowing freely. Rich and poor, black and white, educated and unschooled—the grief throbbed across a union of States now nearly at peace. After his death, even his enemies applauded his greatness of spirit and transparent unselfishness.1 For the millions who called him “Father Abraham,” his premature death was as if a parent had died. When the United States built its first transcontinental highway from Jersey City, New Jersey, to San Francisco, California, President Taft felt that naming the new road the “Lincoln Highway” would further national unity.2

However, when President Lincoln was alive, he was the target of immense ridicule and scathing rejection by many national leaders, their followers, and by the public press. But after he died, a stunned nation began to appreciate what he stood for. A sad but grateful nation soon treasured his profound speeches and writings, such as the Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address. The enormous contribution of Abraham Lincoln could be seen in true perspective only with the passing of time and after calm reflection.

Looking forward to Ellen White’s visit to Australia in 1891, G. C. Tenney, first president of the Australian Conference, wrote in the church paper: “I need hardly say that this event is anticipated by us all with great interest. I believe it is most opportune. The position that Sister White and her work occupy in connection with our cause renders it imperative that our people should become personally acquainted with her, so far as possible.

“The evidences, from a Bible standpoint, of the authenticity of the work of the Spirit of Prophecy in connection with the last church are all-sufficient, but a closer acquaintance with the work of Sister White seems to be demanded, in order to satisfy the honest inquirer that it fills the requirements of God’s Word.”3

Like Lincoln, Ellen White was often maligned. She faced lies of “sheer malice and enmity” and “pure fabrications of iniquity.” Writing from Greenville, Michigan, when she was 41, she contemplated: “I do not doubt for a moment but the Lord had sent me that the honest souls who had been deceived might have an opportunity to see and hear for themselves what manner of spirit the woman possessed who had been presented to the public in such a false light in order to make the truth of God of none effect. . . .”4

Later in that letter she wrote: “None are compelled to believe. God gives sufficient evidence that all may decide upon the weight of evidence, but He never has nor never will remove all chance [opportunity] for doubt, never will force faith.”

Quoting an old woodsmen’s proverb, Carl Sandburg entitled the next-to-the-last chapter in his six-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln, “A tree is best measured when it’s down.”5 While alive, no man or woman can be fully measured. Never was this more true than with the life of Christ. Only with the passing of time can anyone’s life be properly evaluated. The gushing praise of flatterers and the derisive contempt of adversaries alike are best gauged and reappraised against the lasting results of a person’s words and deeds.

To a large extent, we are all children of our time. Ellen Harmon was born into a world of enormous ferment and rapid change. To help us understand the subjects she talked or wrote about, even the phrases she used, as well as the kind of daily life she lived, we shall briefly note geographical, political, economic, social, and religious factors that may have influenced her maturing ministry.


Geographical Environment

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Portland, Maine, the largest city nearest Ellen during her first twenty years, was also the largest in Maine in 1840, with a population of 15,218. Though that number seems small today, in the 1840s Portland exceeded the size of New Haven and Hartford, Connecticut; and Savannah, Georgia. Portland, a busy seaport, placed Maine third behind only Massachusetts and New York in total shipping. Regular steamship connections with Boston often experienced price wars, once dropping fares as low as 50 cents each way in 1841.6

In Ellen White’s time, as today, the summers were proverbially pleasant, winters harsh, with temperatures often below zero, even to a record 24 degrees Fahrenheit below zero (February 1, 1826). The harbor was often frozen for days, even weeks, while the countryside, usually covered with snow, made travel by sleigh ideal.7

Portland had a “progressive school system” for students between 4 and 21 years of age. Following primary school, a student could enter grammar school after a public examination. However, free education for girls ended with grammar school, while boys could go on to the English high school, after passing another public examination.8

Because Portland did not have a hospital until 1855, the sick were cared for at home or in the physician’s office. An M.D. degree could be attained at Bowdoin College at Brunswick (about 26 miles from Portland) after three months of lectures, a written thesis, and a final examination before the faculty of medicine (equivalent to the best American medical schools of that day).9

City statistics list a wide array of causes for death, “from an extensive variety of fevers (typhoid and typhus to ‘putrid fever’) and common diseases of the age (cholera and measles) to some designations that are now quaint or archaic (scrofula, ‘sudden,’ and gravel). By far the most common cause of death was consumption (tuberculosis), followed by ‘fevers,’ dropsy, ‘bowel complaints,’ or other diseases that had reached epidemic proportions (such as measles in 1835 and scarlet fever in 1842).

“Heavily hit were the young; those under 10 often constituted close to 50 percent of deaths in a year (not counting the many stillborn). Stated differently, the average age at death during 1840 was 22.6 years, which the Advertiser claimed demonstrated ‘the superior degree of health enjoyed in Portland.’”10

Frederick Hoyt, Adventist historian, summarized the impact of growing up in the vicinity of Portland, Maine, in the 1830s and 1840s: “This then was the environment that nurtured the body, mind, and soul of young Ellen Gould Harmon. In many ways it was a harsh environment that could only toughen the character of those it did not break. In the words of American historian James Truslow Adams, in this setting ‘the gristle of conscience, work, thrift, shrewdness, duty, became bone.’ Other words could well be used to characterize Down-Easterners: religious fervor, a passionate search for truth, stubborn independence, Spartan toughness, resourcefulness, frugality, sturdy individualism, and a propensity to adopt and fight for unpopular causes.”11


Political Environment

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Perhaps no two decades in the nineteenth century saw more rapid growth and momentous events than the 1830s and 1840s. The United States became united from coast to coast. During these two decades seven States joined the union, with California, in 1850, becoming the thirty-first. War with Mexico ended with large territorial annexations. The population of the United States soared from about 5 million in 1800 to more than 20 million in 1850.

Increasing waves of immigrants changed the texture of cities, from a “tiny trickle of 150,000 immigrants in the 1820s . . . to a powerful stream of two and one-half million in the 1850s.” Though they brought “vigor and variety,” they also aroused “fear, suspicion, and hostility.” Roman Catholics from Ireland, Italy, and other European countries were especially resented because their sheer numbers flooded the market with cheap labor; in addition, their religious homogeneity threatened the previous uniformity of a Protestant America.12

Race relations, though a social phenomenon, affected many of the political issues even in States “free” from slavery. The slavery issue escalated inexorably through the first half of the nineteenth century, culminating in a polarized nation and the Civil War that shook and drained the Union. As the young country lurched toward its dark night of civil conflict, many white abolitionists risked their lives, speaking out against slavery and for its immediate elimination.13


Social Environment

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The mid-nineteenth century rocked with the dynamics of social change, mainly driven by the flush of individualism. The presidency of Andrew Jackson opened the door to freeing the “common man” from the status quo. It seemed that every conceivable reform issue was inaugurated.

Lyceums, and later the Chautauqua circuit, attracted millions to hear lectures on such diverse topics as slavery, Fourierism (small, cooperative communities), non-resistance, land reform, perfectionism, mesmerism (hypnotism), whole-wheat bread, and all aspects of health. And the publications of these “reforms” flooded the market. “There are temperance papers. . . . There have been numerous journals devoted to Spiritualism, Socialism, Phrenology, Homeopathy, Hydrotherapy, Anti-Rent, Bloomerism, Women’s Rights, Odd Fellowship, Masonry, Anti-masonry, and all the notions, movements, and sensations of a very active-minded community.”14

Young America was also a cauldron of social polarizations. Race relations haunted most communities in every State. Ethnic groups, including certain Europeans, Orientals, Hispanics, Negroes, and Native Americans, had to face blind prejudice affecting the work place as well as the neighborhood.15

The consumption of alcoholic beverages was also a national concern. One historian described the United States as an “alcoholic republic.” Annual per capita consumption of alcohol increased from three gallons in 1800 to four gallons in 1830.16

By 1839, the American Temperance Society, through its more than 8,000 local societies, had convinced 350,000 to sign the total abstinence pledge—the “total” pledge becoming a great step even for temperance advocates. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, organized on November 18, 1874, was especially effective on the local level.17

The last half of Ellen White’s ministry coincided with the phenomenal rise of urban-industrial cities. A nation born on the farm had moved to the cities. “The number of Americans living in centers with more than 2,500 inhabitants had grown from 19 percent in 1860 to 39 percent in 1900 and to 52 percent in 1920.”18

The change of pace from the time-honored natural pace of the farm to the artificial life of the city forced many new and difficult adjustments. “Rural America had its vices, but none seemed as blatant as those of the metropolis.” For most Protestants, the city was a symbol of everything wrong— “an alien and hostile world hopelessly steeped in rum and Romanism.”19

Another factor that polarized the cities was class conflict—conspicuous rich being envied by those working the factories, most of them the stereotyped immigrants with their unconventional, insular ways. For the first time America heard the term, “organized labor.”20

Ellen White’s ministry paralleled a turbulent time of great social changes. She wrote much about the dark years of the Civil War and the plight of the slave, the shakeup of the move from the farm to the city, the obvious implications of extravagant alcoholic consumption, and the class struggle between the rich and the poor.


Religious Environment

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It would be difficult to find any period in U.S. history that would come close to the religious ferment of the mid-nineteenth century.21

“Revivalists and millennialists, communitarians and utopians, spiritualists and prophesiers, celibates and polygamists, perfectionists and transcendentalists”—all were adding spice to the religious scene previously dominated by the conventional denominations.22

Established churches were torn by controversy, especially the Old and New School Calvinists. The Wesleyan emphasis on free grace produced an astounding rise in the “primacy of religious experience.” New religious groups were springing up with astonishing success, but “nowhere were they produced in greater variety than in the heated seedplot of upstate New York.”23

Camp meetings, primarily Methodist, were spiritual hothouses where various stages of exuberance merged with the sense of “fresh revelation,” the possibility of holiness here and now, and the consciousness of participating in fulfilling “ancient millennial hopes.”24 The shouts of the distressed mingled with the shouts of praise and glory. The falling, the jerking, the barking, even the crawling on the ground, the rolling, the heavenly dancing, the laughing and the shouting of thousands at once, “creating such a volume of noise that the sound carried for miles”—all became remarkable characteristics of those “slain by the Spirit.”25

The camp meeting “spirit” carried over into the weekly church services and city gospel tabernacles. Professional evangelists carried on the camp meeting legacy with high-voltage preaching; respect for the “old-time religion” was reflected in camp meeting songs that are still effective today.

As one would expect, early Adventists (many of them former Methodists) often expressed their spiritual feelings as did other evangelical Protestants. “Shouting,” for a short while, was probably the most characteristic mode of public expression.26

The remarkable coincidence of the emergence of Mormonism, Christian Science, and modern Spiritualism with the rise of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the first half of the nineteenth century was noted in the previous chapter.


Family Tree

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A resourceful farmer and hatmaker, Ellen’s father, Robert F. Harmon, Sr., (1786-1866) was disfellowshipped in 1843 from Portland’s Methodist Episcopal church for embracing the Millerite message.27

Eunice Gould Harmon (1787-1863) mothered two sons and six daughters, of whom Ellen and her twin, Elizabeth, were the last. The record notes that she was a school teacher prior to her marriage; afterwards she was an industrious homemaker at the time of whale-oil lamps and wood-burning stoves—and unpredictable family income. Her parents descended from resourceful ancestors. They fought in the earlier wars, beginning with King Philips’s War (1675). Some were entrepreneurs. Ellen’s great-great-grandfather built a mill on the river at Scarboro, Maine, known as “Harmon’s Mill.”28

Four of the eight Harmon children became Sabbath keepers—Ellen and her sisters Mary and Sarah (six and five years older, respectively, than Ellen) and Robert. Caroline’s (1811-1883) daughter Mary worked briefly as Ellen’s literary assistant (1876-77). Robert, Jr. died at 27 of consumption in 1853. Both of Ellen White’s parents became Sabbath keeping Adventists in later life.

Shortly before their father died (and after Ellen had visited her sisters once more) she wrote: “Although we were not practically agreed on all points of religious duty, yet our hearts were one.”29

Ellen’s marriage to James White, August 30, 1846, produced four children, only two of whom survived to adulthood.

Their first born, Henry Nichols (1847-1863), a happy young man, died of pneumonia at 16.30 James Edson (1849-1928) learned the printer’s trade from his father at 14. He became a popular Adventist writer and composer. His tenacious work for Blacks in the southern States was unparalleled. His printing establishment became the foundation of the former Southern Publishing Association.31

Early in life the managerial skills of William Clarence (1854-1937) were recognized; he was elected to a variety of heavy responsibilities in church leadership. After his father died, he became a traveling companion and trusted counselor to his mother. Soon after his mother died in 1915, he was appointed secretary of the Ellen G. White Estate, supervising its work for more than two decades.

John Herbert, born in 1860, died after three months, from erysipelas.32


Early Life Prior to 184533

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Three major events or circumstances occurred in Ellen White’s early years that directly affected and focused the rest of her life—her physical trauma at age nine; the preaching of William Miller; and her profound religious experience.

In 1836 while young Ellen was walking with a group of schoolmates, an older girl followed them with threats. Just as Ellen turned, the older girl threw a rock that smashed her face, knocking her unconscious. For three weeks she lay in a virtual coma.

Some days later, when her father returned home from a business trip, Ellen was crushed further—her father did not recognize her. “Every feature” of her face was changed. More than that, the loss of blood had severely affected her respiratory system—a weakness she bore for the rest of her life. In addition, because her hand “trembled,” Ellen could make “no progress in writing.”34 Looking back after nearly fifty years, she wrote, “The cruel blow which blighted the joys of earth, was the means of turning my eyes to heaven. I might never have known Jesus, had not the sorrow that clouded my early years led me to seek comfort in Him.”35

Schooling became impossible. The letters of the alphabet in her books would run together, her eyes could not focus properly, perspiration flowed, and she would become dizzy and faint. And so, at the age of nine, this bright student left her academic preparation in great disappointment, never to return to formal schooling—the first of two great disappointments in her early life. Her mother became her teacher, and the fields around Portland, her laboratory.36

But fresh hope came to Ellen in 1840 when William Miller held his Portland, Maine, audience spellbound as he traced the prophecies that seemed to indicate that the return of Jesus was near. This new understanding, fresh (and thus controversial) to most of her religious contemporaries, profoundly affected the rest of her life.

Spiritual matters were always important to young Ellen. But her primary motivation was fear—fear of not being ready when Jesus would come, fear of failure because of her limited schooling and weakened body, and fear that in some way God had afflicted her with her horrid, physical burden. All this became her “secret agony” that she locked in her lonely heart. Years of listening to “hell-fire” sermons had etched a false picture of God into her soul. God was Ellen’s heavenly Ruler, but was He her Friend?

Two dreams and some timely pastoral counseling became the third of those turning points in young Ellen’s life that set the course for the rest of her life. For the next 75 years, her most compelling mission was to tell the truth about the character of God.

One of the two dreams portrayed a visit to the heavenly temple; the other, a meeting with Jesus. With a smile, Jesus seemed to touch her head, saying, “Fear not.” He gave her a green cord, representing faith, leading her to declare: “The beauty and simplicity of trusting in God began to dawn upon my soul.” Ellen now felt free to discuss her fears with her mother. With quick insight and encouragement, her mother suggested a visit with young Levi Stockman, in his late thirties.

After Elder Stockman heard her story of the two dreams as well as her deep fears, he said: “Ellen, you are only a child. Yours is a most singular experience for one of your tender age. Jesus must be preparing you for some special work.”

Then the perceptive pastor gave her a clearer picture of God as seen in Jesus. Writing later, Ellen wrote: “During the few minutes in which I received instruction from Elder Stockman, I had obtained more knowledge on the subject of God’s love and pitying tenderness, than from all the sermons and exhortations to which I had ever listened.”37

Her new-found understanding—that God is like Jesus, her best Friend— prompted her to share her insights and gratitude with others: “While relating my experience, I felt that no one could resist the evidence of God’s pardoning love that had wrought so wonderful a change in me. The reality of true conversion seemed so plain to me that I felt like helping my young friends into the light, and at every opportunity exerted my influence toward this end.”38


New Picture of God

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This new picture of God, coupled with her deep conviction that Jesus was soon to come, was shared by her brother Robert. He reflected with her about what these fresh insights had done for them: “‘A tree is known by its fruits. What has this belief done for us? It has convinced us that we were not ready for the coming of the Lord; that we must become pure in heart, or we cannot meet our Saviour in peace. It has aroused us to seek for new strength and grace from God.

“‘What has it done for you, Ellen? Would you be what you are now if you had never heard the doctrine of Christ’s soon coming? What hope has it inspired in your heart; what peace, joy, and love has it given you? And for me it has done everything. I love Jesus, and all Christians. I love the prayer meeting. I find great joy in reading my Bible and in prayer.’”39

Most probably, if Ellen had not had this self-authenticating relationship with her Lord, she would not have been prepared for the profound disappointment on October 22, 1844. She recalled: “It was a bitter disappointment that fell upon the little flock whose faith had been so strong and whose hope had been so high. But we were surprised that we felt so free in the Lord, and were so strongly sustained by His strength and grace. . . . We were disappointed, but not disheartened.”40

Thus, in late 1844 Ellen was prepared for her unforeseen future. Fully mindful of her frail physical condition, captured by her new and compelling picture of God as her heavenly Friend, and focused on the consuming truth that Jesus was still coming soon, she was ready for her first vision. She had just turned 17.

But not all the Millerites thought alike after the Great Disappointment. Not all could say they were “disappointed but not disheartened.” On one hand, radical ideas generated radical behavior. Some former leaders, believing that Christ had indeed come spiritually, espoused “spiritual wifery,” whereby they renounced marriage and formed “spiritual” unions, devoid of sex, with new partners. Others, believing that the 1,000-year Sabbath had now begun, and to show their faith in what they believed, would do no more secular work.41

On the other hand, doctrinal differences began to separate Miller’s followers. They soon divided into at least four groups: (1) Those known as Evangelical Adventists eventually abandoned Miller’s prophetic teachings and were absorbed into other Protestant groups when it became evident that very little divided them; (2) Another group believed that the millennium was in the past, that the dead were now “sleeping,” awaiting the resurrection, and that the wicked would be annihilated. Eventually they became known as the Advent Christian Church, now the largest non-Sabbath keeping remnant of Millerite adventism; (3) Centered around Rochester, N.Y., another group saw the millennium as yet future wherein the Jews would return to Palestine. Firmly opposed to formal church organization, these “Age-to-Come” adventists never became strong and united.

(4) The fourth group became known as the “Sabbath and Shut-door” Adventists. Through prayer, Bible study, and divine confirmation they developed a rationale for the events that centered on October 22, 1844. This scattered group eventually found their unity and mission and went on to become Seventh-day Adventists, the largest of the Millerite bodies today. They believed that something had happened on October 22, but what?42

God understood their pain and confusion, just as He understood those two dejected disciples trudging to Emmaus with “sad faces” (Luke 24:17) after the crucifixion. Jesus did not let His disheartened disciples sink without an explanation 2,000 years ago—and He did not forget His believers in late 1844.

And so He made His presence felt that December morning in 1844, when a small group of Adventist women in Portland, Maine joined themselves in prayer and Bible study—reaching out to God and to each other for encouragement and understanding. The emaciated Ellen had been staying at the Haines home for a few days, giving her mother some much needed rest. Her physician and friends had given her up to die of consumption. While they were praying, this seventeen-year-old teenager became lost to her surroundings, and God gave her the kind of encouragement that those troubled believers desperately needed. Thus began a seventy-year ministry that became more significant as the years went by.43


Endnotes

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1. See Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1939), vol. 6, pp. 387-413.

2. “Lincoln, Abraham,” The World Book Encyclopedia (Chicago: Field Enterprises Educational Corporation, 1960), p. 287.

3. Review and Herald, Nov. 17, 1891.

4. Bio., vol. 2, 276.

5. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln, pp. 387-413.

6. Frederick Hoyt, “Ellen White’s Hometown: Portland, Maine, 1827-1846,” ed. Gary Land, The World of Ellen G. White (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association: 1987), pp. 14, 15, 30, 31.

7. Ibid., p. 14.

8. Ibid., p. 16.

9. Ibid., pp. 26, 27.

10. Ibid., p. 27.

11. Ibid., p. 31.

12. Ibid., p. xii; Ronald E. Osborn, The Spirit of American Christianity (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958), pp. 18-21.

13. H. Shelton Smith, et al., American Christianity: An Historical Interpretation with Documents, pp. 167-212.

14. Thomas Low Nichols, Forty Years of American Life: 1821-1861 (New York: Stackpole Sons, 1937), p. 208.

15. “Within the framework of American history, the nineteenth century was probably the most crucial period with regard to race relations. Racial issues headlined the newspapers as white Americans found themselves in positions of conflict and compromise with ethnic groups such as Blacks, Native Americans (Indians), Hispanics, Orientals, and European ethnics. In each encounter the Caucasian majority had to face its own fears of, and prejudices toward, the minority groups. Often sheer, blind prejudice dictated the ways in which minority people were treated until greater contact modified the more extreme views. . . . Contact and exposure between the races did little to modify stereotypes held about the minority group. In such situations complex relationships both sociological and psychological mitigated against any real racial harmony or understanding. This was especially true in the case of Afro-Americans.”—Norman K. Miles, “Tension Between the Races,” in Land, The World of Ellen G. White, p. 47.

16. Jerome L. Clark, “The Crusade Against Alcohol,” in Land, World of Ellen G. White, p. 131.

17. Ibid., pp. 132, 138.

18. Carlos A. Schwantes, “The Rise of Urban-Industrial America,” in Land, World of Ellen G. White, p. 80.

19. Land, World of Ellen G. White, pp. 84, 85; Osborn, The Spirit of American Christianity, pp. 16-18; Winthrop S. Hudson, The Great Tradition of the American Churches (New York: Harper & Row, [Torchbooks] 1963), pp. 110-136.

20. “In the late nineteenth century people often referred to corporations as ‘trusts,’ ‘monopolies,’ ‘soulless machines,’ or ‘octopuses’ whose grasping tentacles reached everywhere; labor unions were referred to as ‘communistic’ or ‘un-American.’ Of the two forms of organization, labor usually seemed the greater threat. . . . As the nineteenth century wound to a close, it became ever more evident that Protestantism was losing its working-class members. The close alliance between Protestantism and wealth, and the attitude of Protestant clergymen toward labor’s struggle, had not gone unnoticed by workers. . . . For many working-class worshipers, it was increasingly difficult to find even a Protestant church to attend. As the church adopted an increasingly middle-class stance, it not only alienated many workers but also discovered compelling reasons to abandon physically the working-class neighborhoods of the metropolis in order to flee to suburban or rural environments.”—Land, World of Ellen G. White, pp. 91-93.

21. K. S. Latourette, A History of the Expansion of Christianity, (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1941) vol. VI, pp. 442, 443, 450; VII, p. 450.

22. Edwin S. Gaustad, “Introduction,” Gaustad, The Rise of Adventism, p. xv.

23. Winthrop S. Hudson, “A Time of Religious Ferment,” Gaustad, The Rise of Adventism, p. 7.

24. Ibid., p. 9.

25. Charles A. Johnson, The Frontier Camp Meeting (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1955), pp. 52-64. See Appendix A for an eye-witness’s description of a camp meeting in the early 1800s.

26. Malcolm Bull and Keith Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989), p. 152.

27. Bio., vol. 1, pp. 43, 44.

28. See Ellen Harmon’s family tree in Bio., vol. 1, p. 487.

29. Review and Herald, April 21, 1868.

30. Bio., vol. 2, pp. 70-72.

31. SDAE, vol. 11, p. 888.

32. Bio., vol. 1, p. 430.

33. The most complete review of Ellen Harmon’s early years is found in Arthur L. White’s Ellen G. White: The Early Years, the first volume of his six-volume biography, Vol. 1: 1827-1862 (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1985), pp. 15-71.

34. Ellen White, Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, pp. 7-11, cited in Bio., vol. 1, pp. 28-31.

35. Review and Herald, Nov. 25, 1884.

36. Charles Dickens and Mark Twain, among other authors, did not reach the equivalent of secondary school.—Anthony Smith, The Mind (New York: The Viking Press, 1984), p. 208.

37. Life Sketches, p. 37; Maxwell, Tell It to the World, p. 56; see also Bio., vol. 1, pp. 38-49.

38. Life Sketches, p. 41.

39. Ibid., p. 45.

40. Ibid., p. 61.

41. Schwarz, Light Bearers, p. 56. See p. 559

42. Ibid., pp. 56-58.

43. Ibid., pp. 55, 56; Maxwell, Tell It to the World, p. 58.; Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, pp. 30, 31; J. N. Loughborough, The Great Second Advent Movement (GSAM) (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1905), p. 202.


Study Questions

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1. How do we know that Ellen Harmon was a religiously oriented young person prior to 1844?

2. What misunderstanding of Bible truth led Ellen Harmon to have a wrong understanding of the character of God?

3. What fears burdened young Ellen and how were they relieved?

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